2017’s Most & Least Educated Cities in America

College opens many doors. Besides providing invaluable cultural experiences and the opportunity to build lifelong connections, a college education can lead to better job opportunities and increase future earning potential. And the more degree holders earn, the more tax dollars they contribute over time, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

One way to strengthen an economy, the EPI suggests, is to attract well-paying employers “by investing in education and increasing the number of well-educated workers.” In states where workers have the least schooling, for instance, the median wage is $15 an hour compared with $19 to $20 an hour in states where 40 percent or more of the working population hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Local governments appear to be catching on and maximizing the appeal of their cities to college graduates.

To determine where the most educated Americans are putting their degrees to work and thus are most valuable to their local economies, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 150 largest metropolitan statistical areas, or MSAs, across nine key metrics. Our data set ranges from share of adults aged 25 and older with a bachelor’s degree or higher to quality of the public school system to gender education gap. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of researchers and a full description of our methodology.

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